I'm setting up a wireless environment for 800 user purely for email and basic web surfing on a 20Mbps connection.

I'm intending to use a Cicso E4200 or Asus RT-N66U router and 2 or 3 more APs.

Will this setup work? I understand that the maximum recommended users for a router and most APs is maybe 25 or 50. If this solution won't work, are there any better suggestion?


1 Answer 1


Absolutely no it won't work. Don't try it. Don't suggest it to your boss. Don't promise that a good solution will be anywhere near the cost of what you're proposing here.

Even the top end Cisco LAP 11xx and 36xx series APs are rated at an absolute maximum of 100 users. To simultaneously support 800 users, I wouldn't use any less than 10 enterprise grade APs (not Linksys, not Cisco small business, but real enterprise APs), with an ideal number between 20-25 depending on range and failover capacity.

You also don't mention how much space they are spread over. You need to plan for capacity as well. If you have one room with a max of 5 people and another with a max of 500 you're going to need to plan accordingly. 800 wifi users isn't a task for SOHO gear. If you want it to work well, buy enterprise grade APs and controllers. You can easily spend $30k+ USD or more for appropriate get to support 800 concurrent users. Have someone from Cisco, Aruba, or any other major vendor come out and do a site survey and capacity plan for you. Wireless capacity and site planning is an art, and you don't seem like you have much experience so you should leave it to the professionals.

  • 5
    And if 800 people are going to use this, you're going to want REDUNDANT controllers... don't skimp here. Jul 7, 2012 at 14:40
  • Yep, excellent point. That can add around ~$10k or more depending on what brand/capacity controller you get.
    – MDMarra
    Jul 7, 2012 at 14:43
  • Hi Marra and Spaceman, Firstly thanks for the reply but you see this is a one time kinda event. We are just hosting a regional conference for 2 days. The wireless service is only during the tea breaks.
    – ken
    Jul 7, 2012 at 18:35
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    It's limited by the laws of physics, specifically radio interference. It will be unusable. You should contact local vendors and consultants and see if you can rent/lease the equipment then. There is absolutely no way to give 800 people usable Internet access from 3 APs.
    – MDMarra
    Jul 7, 2012 at 19:03
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    @ken seriously to give you an example, I spent $250,000 USD on wireless gear to expand an additional wireless network to support 2500 more concurrent users across 9 buildings in a low-interference setting. Honestly, if you want to do it right, it's seriously spendy.
    – MDMarra
    Jul 8, 2012 at 4:46

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